Vicksburg Farmers’ Market closes for seasonAbout 50 people brave Saturday chill for final pickings

Published 11:44 pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

The fall Vicksburg Farmers’ Market ended its first season Saturday on a chilly, quiet note, with one vendor and few customers.

Eddie Kennedy of Oak Grove, La., a Farmers’ Market vendor since it began three years ago, was the sole salesman Saturday morning, offering tomatoes, sweet potatoes and turnip greens to market visitors who braved morning temperatures in upper 30s and a steady breeze coming off the Yazoo Diversion Canal.

The breeze later stilled and temperatures moderated into the mid-50s by the afternoon. Market coordinator Kristin Meehan estimated about 50 people visited the last market.

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“We kind of expected this,” market manager Sonny Hale said as he pulled on gloves to warm his hands against the cool breeze. “Most of our vendors sold out last week.”

Meehan said several vendors told her last week they would not return for Saturday’s market.

“They said they already had plans for Thanksgiving,” she said.

The fall Farmers’ Market opened Oct. 6, and ran every Saturday. Its initial hours ran from 8 a.m. to noon, but changed on Oct. 27 to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the vendors’ request because of the cooler weather and to attract more people.

Hale said some customers asked if it could be moved from Jackson and Washington streets to an area not affected by the chilled breezes from the canal.

Meehan said there are no immediate plans to relocate the market, but added the Vicksburg Main Street Board of Directors, which oversees the market, will review the program and see where changes need to be made.

Despite the gradual chill over the last few weeks, Hale said the number of vendors and visitor traffic remained constant.

“We’ve averaged about six vendors and about 100 to 150 visitors during this season,” he said, adding the selection available to customers during the market ranged from fruits and vegetables to pasta, cereals and canned jams and jellies.

“It’s been mostly agricultural items,” he said. “I’ve been really pleased with what I’ve seen. It’s been a really good market.”

“For the first fall market, it’s been very good,” Kennedy said. “I’ll be back in the spring.”